by Carson Boss
Upon my wife, Cindy’s, diagnosis of breast cancer in early 2011, I began to reach out to other husbands I knew whose wife had gone through cancer. I started writing down the counsel they gave me, and other bits of information I gleaned from my own research and pamphlets we received early on. It dawned on me after I had accumulated about 40 pages of notes and directions that it would have been nice to have been given a book dealing with all of that information at our very first appointment.
So I sat down and started typing up all of that information, coupled with my own experiences, in the order they happened. The idea of putting it into book form came to my mind. I started looking on the web to see if there was something already like it out there. There were a few books out there that husbands had written about their wives battle with breast cancer, but I felt this book would be for every cancer caregiver husband as there were similarities all of us experienced no matter the type. I decided to self-publish the book through Xlibris as I had no idea how to get a publisher due to the fact I had never written one before. A good friend of mine ended up passing it along to Christopher Robbins at Familius and he reached out to me to re-publish through his company. It was released last year and is slowly gaining momentum in the market.
The book was a nice way to convey my experiences and those of the other husbands who talked about their wife’s cancer at the end of the book, but it could not convey all of the emotion we felt. Christopher then reached out to me soon after the release of the book about doing a DVD series to accompany the book. I was a little apprehensive at first since men are not the best at showing emotion in public, let alone on camera, and I felt I would have a hard time persuading them to be interviewed.
I was surprised and very grateful that some of them agreed to do it. Once I received their commitments, Christopher put me in touch with Matt Schramer who works on the film/audio side of Familius. We began setting up and filming the interviews with the husbands from the past year, and some of the doctors that Cindy worked with. My wife became very attached to her doctors, oncologists and surgeons throughout her battle with cancer and I, in turn as the caregiver, became close to them as well. Once my book was published, my wife and I wrote a thank you note in the book and delivered a copy to each of them. They were very receptive and supportive of it. When the idea for the DVD came about a few of them agreed to be interviewed. The information from our general discussions was invaluable to the project. The series will include interviews with:
· Dr. Leigh Neumayer, M.D. – Breast Cancer Surgeon, Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary Team for Breast Cancer, Huntsman Cancer Institute. She was just named head of surgery at the University of Arizona as well – the first woman ever to be in that position. She also wrote the forward to my book.
· Dr. Saundra Buys, M.D. – Medical Director – High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic, Huntsman Cancer Institute
· Dr. Jayant Agarwal, M.D. – Plastic Surgeon, Breast Reconstruction Surgeon, Huntsman Cancer Institute
With this project, we are planning on producing four 45 minute DVD’s that will tackle a couple of chapters from the book at a time. The information couples will get would take thousands of pages to convey in a book. In addition, it is more difficult for couples to read a book together than it is to watch a DVD. I know because my wife out reads me 20 books to 1 each year. So I feel this series will make the stories, events and practical advice come to life. It will allow them to stop and discuss certain points as they watch, and then customize their own plan of action in dealing with whatever kind of medical trial they are facing together. The series will allow the viewer the opportunity to have a support group in their own living room.
All of us know someone very close to us (if not personally) that has faced cancer or supported someone who has. This DVD series will allow them the ability to offer support and give them ideas on how to help others that face this horrible disease. They will be able to do it from the comfort of their own homes without having to travel to conferences or support groups that are often in cities far away. I wanted to bring the hope and information directly to the viewer which is something I wish I had when I started my journey with my wife. For a one time pledge of support, they will have something in their library they can lend out to someone else who might be struggling in the event they never have to face it personally.
About the Author: When Carson Boss found out that his wife had cancer, he realized that the information provided for husbands is insufficient to adequately deal with this traumatic event. After thousands of hours of personal research with husband and wife teams and medical personal, Carson wrote Your Wife Has Cancer, Now What? to help other husbands be better prepared to help their wives. Carson is a devoted husband who adores his wife and four kids. He currently resides in Syracuse, Utah and has lived in both Texas and Canada. He can be reached by email.
Editor’s Note: Carson and his wife are working on a DVD series surrounding the subjects he discussed in his book. They have wrapped up all of the interviews with husbands, couples and doctors and are ready to produce it. A gofundme.com account has been established to raise the funds necessary to create it. Once created, copies will be sent to cancer treatment libraries across the country so while a husband/or caregiver is there waiting for a loved one they can check them out and watch them. Sort of a mobile self-help group.